Photo of Sandra (Sandy) Zagarell
  • Donald R. Longman Professor of English


  • BA, City College, 1965
  • MA, Columbia University, 1967
  • PhD, Columbia University, 1976


I teach mainly American and British literature and connections between them; a fairly new interest is the history of the book. I'm also interested in relationships between the verbal and visual. My first-year seminar is on "Ways of Seeing, Ways of Knowing." Among the questions that circulate through my courses are these: what was "literature" at a given time in a given place? Within what conditions did literature appear? Who wrote and what did they write? How did writing get published or produced and distributed?  How was it read in its day? How do we read it now?  

My scholarship focuses on nineteenth-century American literature, especially on formal and rhetorical dimensions of narrative, on relationships between the visual and the verbal, and on intersections between the history of the book and the study of imaginative writing. I'm a senior editor of the Heath Anthology of American Literature, and am in charge of Volume C, which covers the period from 1865-1910.


  • Sandy Zagarell Elected President of the Society for the Study of American Women Writers

    February 5, 2019

    Sandy Zagarell, Donald R. Longman Professor of English, has been elected to a three-year term as President of the Society for the Study of American Women Writers (SSAWW). SSAWW has more than 400 members, national and international. It sponsors a triennial conference and numerous other activities. SSAWW is committed to diversity in the study of American women writers — racial, ethnic, gender, class, sexual orientation, region, and era — as well as of scholars participating in the Society.

  • Sandra Zagarell Presents Papers, Workshop

    December 7, 2018

    Sandra Zagarell, Donald R. Longman Professor of English, presented two papers led a workshop at the triennial conference of the Society for the Study of American Women Writers. The papers were titled, “Literature, Citizenship, Alice Dunbar-Nelson” and  “Learning from Alice Dunbar-Nelson.” The workshop was on the topic of “Service and Time Management.”

  • Sandra Zagarell Authors Articles

    October 8, 2018

    Donald R. Longman Professor of English Sandra Zagarell authored the following articles: "Sarah Orne Jewett’s The Country of The Pointed Firs,” Handbook of the American Novel of the Nineteenth Century, ed. Christine Gerhardt, De Grutyer, 2018; “Engaging Contradictions” Lydia Sigourney’s Sketch of Connecticut, Forty Years Since, Reinventing Lydia Sigourney, ed. Mary Lou Kete and Elizabeth Petrino, University of New England Press, 2018; Review of Janet Dean, Unconventional Politics: Nineteenth-Century Women Writers and U.S. Indian Policy, ALH Online Review Series  IXV.

  • Sandy Zagarell Gives Talk, Publishes, Leads Discussion

    April 16, 2018

    Sandy Zagarell, Donald R. Longman professor of English, gave a talk on Alice Dunbar-Nelson as Educational Activist at the C19 conference in Albuquerque in March 2018. Zagarell published a review of Janet Dean’s Unconventional Politics: Nineteenth Century Woman Writers and Indian Policy in ALH Online Review in February 2018. Additionally, Zagarell led a discussion of Jesmyn Ward’s Salvage the Bones at the Sandusky Public Library in February 2018.

  • Sandra Zagarell Presents Conference Paper

    September 18, 2017

    Sandra Zagarell, professor of English, presented a paper "Alice Dunbar-Nelson's Archive and the Places of Regionalism" at the American Literature Association's Symposium "Regionalism and Place in American Literature" on September 9, 2017.  


  • Sandy Zagarell Authors and Edits

    February 1, 2017

    Sandy Zagarell has coedited a special issue of the journal Legacy about African American writer, activist, and educator Alice Dunbar-Nelson (1875-1935). With coeditor Kate Adams, Zagarell authored the essay “Recovering Alice Dunbar-Nelson for the Twenty-First Century,” which appears in that issue. See the Legacy website for the issue abstract.

    The gallery of images that includes two previously unknown images of Dunbar-Nelson (one with then-husband Paul Laurence Dunbar) can be seen here.

  • Sandra Zagarell Presents Paper

    November 17, 2015

    Donald R. Longman Professor of English Sandra Zagarell presented a paper on the connections between Alice Dunbar-Nelson and W. E. B. DuBois in a panel on “Recovering Alice Dunbar-Nelson for the 21st Century” at the 2015 conference of the Society for the Study of American Women Writers. Zagarell, Professor Kate Adams of Tulane University, and Professor Caroline Gebhard of Tuskegee University are co-editors of a special issue of Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers on Alice Dunbar-Nelson, to be published fall 2016.

  • Sandra Zagarell Article Published

    May 21, 2015

    The article “Americans, Abroad: Henry James’s Portrait of a Lady” by Sandra Zagarell, Donald R. Longman professor of English, has been published in Teaching Transatlanticism, edited by Linda Hughes and Sarah Robbins (Edinburgh University Press, 2015).

    While James's' novel is commonly read as a representation of how Americans fare when they travel to the sophisticated “Old World” (Europe), this article and a companion piece Zagarell published in 2014 approach Portrait of a Lady as a keen-eyed study of postbellum upper-class Americans that "Europe" serves primarily to backlight.

  • Sandra Zagarell Publishes Article

    April 23, 2014

    Donald R. Longman Professor of English Sandra Zagarell has published an article, “Portrait of a Lady: ‘Not Inclined to be Deamericanised,’” in the Henry James Review. Along with a companion piece which will appear in another publication , this article analyzes James’s 1881 novel as a queer, outsider take on genteel Americans of the era.